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Laos Records US$932 Million Trade Value In June

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos saw a record US$932 million in the value of imports and exports for June, but recorded a trade deficit of US$62 million, as the value of imports at US$497 million was higher than the value of exports at US$435 million.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce updated its Lao Trade Portal website on July 14, giving a detailed monthly report of the value of trade between Laos and its main trading partners.

In June, Laos exported mainly copper ore, bananas, mixed gold (gold bars), cassava, clothes, raw coffee, sugar, rubber, fruit (watermelons, passion fruit and tamarind) and sawn wood.

Meanwhile, the main imported products were vehicles (other than motorcycles and tractors), electrical devices and equipment, diesel, mechanical equipment (other than motor vehicles), steel, steel products, premium and regular grade fuel, auto parts (including tyres, glass and chains), plastic products, fertiliser, and food factory waste.

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The total value of exports in June was recorded at US$435 million – a slight increase compared to the May figure of US$425 million.
The figure comprised copper ore valued at US$27 million (26 million in May), US$15 million worth of bananas, US$75 million of mixed gold (gold bars), US$3 million of cassava (down from US$6 million last month), US$16 million worth of clothing (up from US$11 million in May), US$10 million of raw coffee, US$5 million of sugar (US$3 million last month), US$15 million of rubber, US$5 million of fruit (watermelons, passion fruit and tamarind) and US$3 million of sawn wood.

The total value of imports was recorded at US$497 million. This included US$51 million (US$45 million last month) worth of vehicles (other than motorcycles and tractors), US$40 million of diesel, US$33 million of mechanical equipment (other than motor vehicles), US$17 million of steel, steel products, magnetic steel, US$30 million worth of beverages (water, soda and energy drinks), US$30 million of auto parts (including tyres, glass and chains), US$16 million of plastic products, US$11 million of fertiliser, and US$11 million worth of food factory waste.

Most of Laos’ exports go to China with US$158 million (down from US$168 million in May) worth of goods sold in June. Goods sold to Vietnam were valued at US$90 million (down from US$106 million in May), goods sold to Thailand were valued at US$72 million (up from US$60 million in May), while exports to Japan hit a record US$8 million and goods sold to the United States totalled US$7 million.

China is still in the lead as Laos’ largest export market, while Thailand remains one of Laos’ main importing countries, with imports totalling US$225 million this month (down from US$227 million in May).

In addition, imported goods from China were worth US$126 million in June (up from US$117 million in May), while imports from Vietnam totalled US$34 million (down from US$39 million), imports from Japan US$14 million (down from US$16 million in May) and imports from the United States totalled US$24 million (down from US$31 million in May).

Laos is heavily dependent on imported products but it is hoped that increased domestic production will become a strength of the country, such as organically farmed agricultural produce.